IN THE MOONLIT DARKNESS
In the year of the Ikeya-seki comet (1965) I, as a member of our school cricket team, was put up along with my friends at a dormitory for an over-night stay. After dinner we retired for the night and I drifted into a slumber watching the cosmic visitor in the night through the dormitory window.
In the middle of the night my friend Chandru woke me up and, along with a couple of our friends, we set out on ‘Operation Sugarcane.” A full moon shone over the sugarcane fields which were about to be raided by us. Our team’s star batsman Abdul and spinner Manju went into the field to pluck the sugarcane. Night-watchman Chandru kept vigil at a vantage point and I was to act as a messenger to raise alarm in case of emergency. As Abdul & co. began their work, we heard the snapping sound of the sugarcanes. And so did the farmer/owner of the field. As we raised an alarm about the impending danger, the attacking party beat a hasty retreat. Spinner Manju wriggled out of the situation, while Abdul was nearly “run out” by the farmer. We escaped capture by the skin of our teeth.
The next day, just before the cricket match began, the captain of the rival team came to our dressing room and handed to us a bundle of sugarcane sticks. “With compliments from my father”, he said and left. As it turned out, his father was a farmer whose field we had raided the previous night!
[This is an English translation of the article I wrote for the school magazine in 1965.]